Hundreds of patients, who visit the newly constructed AMRIT pharmacy in the Nehru building of PGIMER daily with the hope that they would avail of medicines at discounted rates, return disappointed since the facility awaits formal inauguration by Union health minister even as it has been ready for two months.
Earlier, the AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) outlet was scheduled to be inaugurated by health minister JP Nadda on February 28.
Medicine boxes are lying unpacked in the pharmacy, with nearly eight staff members sitting idle in the air-conditioned and well-furnished outlet. They, however, are not selling the medicines, despite having ample stock.
In November 2015, Nadda launched the country’s first AMRIT pharmacy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
The government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) will run these stores. A bulk of drugs will be sold at discounts ranging between 50%-60% besides making generic drugs available at a concession up to 90%.
“The plan was to open an AMRIT outlet to sell branded medicines at affordable rates, but then we decided to open the second shop for generic medicines. Hence, the inauguration of the shop with branded drugs was delayed for a while,” he said.
Asked if they will open the shops upon their completion or will they wait for the minister to inaugurate, he said “It is up to the PGIMER and health ministry officials” PGI director was not available for comments.